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We desperately need a new narrative for 2017...

The plot against Europe: Part Three – The fightback

Probably the least convincing part of Roth’s ‘The Plot Against America’ is the denouement. Lindbergh’s widow appeals for a turn away from KKK-led violence; Roosevelt is reelected; equilibrium (and the ‘American way’) is restored. In the epilogue, it is explained quite plausibly that it was a Nazi plot all along. I await Mrs Trump’s corresponding

Cohen left us with 'you want it darker?' but we need to create new hallelujah's

The US/UK plot against Europe: Part Two – ’you want it darker?’

  On October 21st 2016, Leonard Cohen released his last album – ‘You want it darker’. He passed away on November 7th, a day before Trump’s extreme kind of darkness descended on the US. ‘You want it darker’ reconfirms his 1992 analysis of the US as a laboratory where confrontations between race, class, gender, sexual

Will 'The Plot against America' play out as the 'Manchurian Candidate'?

The US/UK plot against Europe: Part One – Coup d’etat

In 2014 I read Philip Roth’s ‘The plot against America’. My memories of its political backdrop are of Charles Lindbergh – the famous aviator (and populist ‘hero’ of his day) becoming an unlikely Republican presidential candidate. He beats Roosevelt in the 1940 election on an America-First, anti-war, anti-semitism ticket. As President he signs non-aggression pacts

Nissan, CETA, Heathrow and the BREXIT virus…

I hate to start a piece with a cliche, but ‘we live in extraordinary times’. With a rampant BREXIT virus it is almost impossible to make any sense of the feverish narratives of post-referendum Britain. This piece considers three ‘decisions’ last week – the Nissan announcement of new investment in Sunderland; the signing of the

What is the ‘Sunderland question’? And how might the May Government and local leadership teams answer it?

I can’t help thinking that Sunderland’s pace of counting votes will henceforth come to be seen as a massive millstone around this proud city’s neck. As Sunderland delivered its BREXIT referendum victory shortly after the polls closed on June 23rd, a first highly symbolic indicator of the national BREXIT upset became apparent.   Over subsequent

Is anyone going to articulate and propose the honest UK and EU narrative after the referendum fiasco?

Britain has spoken – but what did it say, and what should be done about it?

It really gives me no pleasure to say I called it right – but, looking back on the trio of EU referendum blogs, the basic premises were confirmed overnight on the 23rd/24th. The referendum  was an absurd exercise for answering questions about the UKs future relationship with the EU. Cameron is a fatally flawed individual